We are very sorry to hear that Lord Newton of Braintree died at the age of 74 on Sunday 25th March 2012 after a long illness.
Tony Newton was an Old Scholar and was a pupil at Friends' School from 1948 to 1955.
He was President of the Old Scholars' Association from 2001 to 2002 and presided over our Tercentenary celebrations in the summer of 2002.
Tony Newton served as a minister in the governments of Lady Thatcher and John Major, holding posts ranging from social security secretary to leader of the House of Commons.
He was an MP for Braintree in Essex for 23 years until 1997.
After accepting a peerage, he remained active in the Lords and rebelled over aspects of the government's welfare reform proposals earlier this year.
Lord Newton's family said he had died on Sunday following a long illness."In spite of his worsening health, he was determined to carry on contributing to public life right up until the last few days," they said in a statement. "He was a remarkable man."
Lord Newton became a health minister in 1982 and quickly rose up the ministerial ranks under Margaret Thatcher, being promoted to the cabinet with responsibility for welfare in 1989.
After the 1992 election, he became leader of the House of Commons.
He first contested a parliamentary seat in 1970 and was elected for the constituency of Braintree four years later. He represented the Essex town until stepping down in 1997.
See also www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17510001
where much of the above material was sourced.